Bundled the boy into the sidecar for his birthday ride (and the first time his mom let me, he just turned 4 today)dropped him off at a party and then I went for a little ride. The temp was 23F so it was a bit chippy at speed. My question is, what do you folks who ride in the cold use to keep you're hands/fingers from freezing? I'm running an 82 Wing with an ugly 2+ hack that seems to chill my right fingers quite efficiently. Everything else seems to stay relatively comfortable with theleathers, nomex balaclava and goggles with the helmet. I've tried several gloves and so far the neoprene ones for hunting seem to work the best without losing grip, but the finger tips still freeze. One other thing, the alternator isn't big enough to run heated gloves, or so I'm told.
Posted 1/10/2004 6:02 PM (#1957 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Just find some gloves at a Snowmobile showroom. There should be some gauntlets to go over the jacket cuffs, it keep the wimd from going up your sleeves.
Be sure to stop much more often than you do in warm weather, cold is cold & it CAN do damage. (frostbite) But keep it up & play in the snow a wee bit. It's FUN!
Posted 1/10/2004 7:26 PM (#1961 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Salem, OR
Start looking for a set of Hippo Hands! If you can find a set, they will go over the handlebars and controls. You put your arms into these things and operate the controls as normal. They haven't been made in quite a while, but you never know. I wonder if anyone else if making anything similar these days?
Posted 1/10/2004 10:00 PM (#1962 - in reply to #1961) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Middleburg, Pa
The Vetter Hippo Hands have been oput of production for quite a while but the snowmobilers have picked up the ball and there are similar products out there. Excellent choic for cold riding..I would not even consider riding without them any longer if it is cold out.
Posted 1/11/2004 11:03 AM (#1964 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
The Hippo hands (or some thing that looks like them) are still avaiable for ATV's I saw them at BassPro the other day. But I heard people complaine that at speed they might but pressure on your brake and clutch lever.
Posted 1/11/2004 9:07 PM (#1967 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
I own a pair of Hippo Hands, or at least I would if the guy who borrowed them would ever bring them back. They work very well but you want to be very familiar with the hand controls, cause you can't see them. Although they have been out of production for many years, there is always a pair available on ebay for around $30-$50, not much more than a cheap pair of winter gloves. They are worth the money. Only problem I had with my Goldwing was I had to remove an aftermarket switch block off the top of the front brake reservoir and a radar detector mount off of the clutch master. If your Wing has mirrors mounted on the handlebars, you may have to remove them, put on the Hippo Hands and replace them through existing holes. On some bikes you may need to poke holes for the mirror stem, but in most cases they have cutouts already in the right place. Here's one on ebay now. Don't get carried away bidding, there will be more available if this goes too high. Last fall there were 4 pair selling at one time. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6...
Posted 1/17/2004 8:37 PM (#1996 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I'll keep an eye on Ebay, that's my other home anyhow during the winter. Just got that nice coating of ice last night, don't think I'll be riding in that.
Posted 3/29/2004 4:10 PM (#2868 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
I ride all year long and have found the hand guards towork well.they are made of acrylic and block the wind on your hands.Also a set of Hot Grips and your hands wont be cold no more!!you can turn the hot grips off when you're sitting at a light or stuck in traffic etc.my 93 ST1100 can handle them your bike should be o.k.
Edited by David Laub 3/29/2004 4:13 PM
Posted 3/29/2004 4:27 PM (#2869 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Ha ha ha - you move down here to glorious, sunny, incomparable, ride 365-days-a-year Florida, Dude!
How tough a decision can that be!
Posted 3/29/2004 7:45 PM (#2877 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Up here in NH, I just look around and see what the snow goers use. I keep two or sometime three pairs of gloves in the bags so I can change them as the weather changes (sometimes during the same day.) Bikecycling gloves for the hot days, deerskin for most of the "normal" rideing year, a pair from Duluth Trading (www.duluthtrading.com) for the wet and chilly days, and finally a pair of snowmobile gloves for the late fall to late winter riding season. I do sit behind a fork mounted fairing (an old HD "batwing") and that helps.
Then there is the old drop a hand on the top of the engine to warm things up a bit, (I use a friction throttle holder so my right hand can take its turn.
BTY, about FL. where are they going to ride once the ocean washes away that sand spit?
Posted 3/30/2004 12:10 PM (#2891 - in reply to #2877) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Boise, Idaho
Come on Bob, don't knock the lucky guys in the sunbelt that can go all year (except during Hurricanes and Tornadoes). They tell me the place is building up on the Gulf side and moving west as the other side washes away.
Everyone doesn't have four seasons to deal with. Here in the Great Northwest we have four though. Spring, autumn, fall and winter. However we did have a record high of 78 degrees yesterday, March 29th. So life is good.
Posted 3/30/2004 12:40 PM (#2893 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Ha ha - you're closer to bein' right than I ought to admit!
If you'll look again at the shots of my sidecar rig at http://www.shakuhachi.ws/helix.htm, you'll notice they're taken UNDERNEATH my home, which is built up on 14' concrete stilts - to keep the house from gettin' washed away by the flooding Suwannee River out behind my house! I'm in the "flood plane"!
But the last time the water came into my yard was 83 years ago, so I ain't worried a whole lot about it.
Posted 3/30/2004 1:05 PM (#2896 - in reply to #2893) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
Something I've discovered in my travels is that the folks down south take their bikes or the weather for granted and tend to ride fewer miles per year than those of us who must crunch it into nine or ten months. I know a couple guys down there who seldom get more than 15 or 20 thousand miles on in a year. Hardly pays to have one if that's all they're going to ride.
Posted 3/30/2004 1:36 PM (#2897 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Gee, I don't know about that Skunk. . . .
I reckon I've just never bumped into any of those southern folks you mention having met in your your travels.
I'm 73, and in my 64 Florida years of motorcycles, mopeds, motor scooters, motorbikes and such, I've documented will over a million miles, and without a single accident, I hasten to add. But of course that included extensive cruising all over America, Mexico, Central America, Hawaii, Europe and Japan.
But all my two and three wheelin' buddies down here similarly take their ridin' real seriously - witness Daytona Bike Week, for example.
Posted 3/30/2004 3:07 PM (#2902 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
See, that's what I mean. That's barely 15,000 a year. Heck, up here the two wheeled guys do that between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Just Kidding, Gene, I've got a neighbor that sold his 1996 Harley last summer with 6,000 miles on it. I do have to say that when I lived in Texas in the late 60's and again in Kentucky in the early '80's usually by the end of September I was the only bike on the road. There was a Drive-In on the north side of Lexington, on New Circle Road where bikes and Hot Rods would hang out. I remember one guy with an older Goldwing painted flat black. Even the motor was black. He would show up there once in a great while. He called it his "winter bike". I don't know what he rode the rest of the year.
Edited by SidecarMike 3/30/2004 3:10 PM
Posted 3/30/2004 4:26 PM (#2905 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Ha ha - the "winter bike" sounds like the old days, you probably don't remember, when "flocking" was in? A lot of daring souls "flocked" their cars and bikes, remember? You covered the vehicle with glue and then shot it with flocking material - made the entire surface look like velvet? The old Aeronca Air Knockers had the inside panels all flocked, if you'll recall.
But come on down here next Daytona Bike Week, and you'll see how real serious we Redneck Rebs are about our biking and triking and such. The actual City of Daytona Beach only has a population of 75,000 people, but during bike week, a couple of weeks ago, there were some 788,000 bikers there with their machines, and each biker spent an average of $1500 on Florida shunshine.
Of course we Crackers don't allow helmet laws and mandatory insurance on our machines here in Florida, and that's another big plus - in our opinion - for Florida living and biking.
Come on down!
Posted 3/30/2004 10:34 PM (#2910 - in reply to #2896) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Heck, I have too many vehicles to be able to put ten thousand miles a year on any one of them.
Posted 3/31/2004 9:29 AM (#2913 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
Ha ha - what a curse, Dave! You own too many vehicles - I wish I had that curse! And I dearly love your Olympia, Washington!
But I didn't mean I put that many miles on each vehicle each year. I trade too often for that. I'm down to only three vehicles just now (if you don't count my unicycle). But I did also manage to log 100,000 miles on my Maule MX-7 (airplane) last year, which - for a little 225 hp rag plane - if a fair piece.
But, seriously, though travel here in Florida is not nearly as splendid as where most of you dudes live, apparently in the Northwest, it is a lot easier. Plus our prison ministry has taken me back and forth through 44 countries, on 5 continents, in the last three decades, so travel is pretty much what I do.
Posted 3/31/2004 9:39 AM (#2915 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
But where is the challenge in riding in perfect weather every day? Long, long ago I was stationed in Perl Harbor for three years. Had a BMW R60 to ride around on. My choices where either ride over to the other side of the island and back or ride 3/4 of the way around the island and back (at that time the roads did not go all the way around Oahu.) Every day was "just another day in paradise" (sigh.)
Now up here in NH I have the added adventures of not only weather; (in it's normal order) Winter, Spring, Fall, Spring, Mud season, Summer, Fall and back to Winter. I also have Moose standing in the middle of the road dimly wondering what the hell what all the fuss is about. Tourist in huge RV's stopped in the middle of the road, just around a curve all pointing at that Moose standing in the middle of the road dimly wondering what the hell all the fuss is about.
But when all is said and done, I sort of like it that way. I an most likely up and riding long before the local “look at me and my shiny bike and bad biker image ™" crowd has thought about getting it out of heated storage. And I am riding long after they have put it back in storage to prevent wet leaves from leaving water spots on the chrome. I just love riding.
Posted 3/31/2004 9:55 AM (#2916 - in reply to #1956) Subject: RE: cold weather riding
You're exactly right, Bob!
I've been there also.
My wife and kids and I lived for two years in teeny Hana, on Maui. And then we also lived two years in the tiny fishing village of Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides, in the Highlands of Scotland. Talk about island fever!
But yes! Riding is fun wherever you find it!
And I'm taking off right now for a day's ride up to Tallahassee and back!